Visitors to downtown McKinney will start seeing butterflies in various forms this spring. In April, monarch butterflies start migrating from Mexico toward North America where they live during the summer months. The city has projects underway to bring butterfly art pieces to McKinney’s cultural district to bring more people downtown and to educate them on the importance of monarchs to the ecosystem. One project, called Monarchs of McKinney, features eight oversized, steel monarch butterfly sculptures. These sculptures will have four-foot wingspans and will be painted by selected local artists. The sculptures will be permanently placed in various locations around The Square. A second project, backed by Hugs Greenhouse, will also bring butterfly art with two butterfly-shaped topiaries, which will also have four-foot wingspans. Topiaries are trees or shrubs clipped into ornamental shapes, but these will feature more than 200 plants seeded into the topiaries. As they bloom, white, pink, purple and red flowers will emerge. The topiaries will be placed on the corners of Tennessee and Virginia streets and Kentucky and Louisiana streets.
Families are flocking to McKinney and building Belclaire homes at Emerald Heights, the city’s newest affluent village within master-planned community Stonebridge Ranch. The gated community offers its residents a full suite of amenities, outstanding schools in McKinney ISD and a natural setting amongst over 1,200 acres of open space, lakes and ponds. Homeowners here enjoy all the perks of living in Stonebridge Ranch including a swim lagoon with a sandy beach and sports courts. Floor plans from Belclaire at Emerald Heights range from 3,041 to 4,500-plus square feet and in the low $600s. Because we’re practicing social distancing, our model home is available for viewing by appointment only. Schedule your appointment and learn more about building your new Belclaire home at Emerald Heights.
Categories: Belclaire Communities, General Posts | Posted: April 10, 2020 | Comments Off on Exercises you can do indoors at your Belclaire home
Exercise is an important part of being healthy, but it’s hard to get done when we’re practicing social distancing – especially if you typically exercise outside or at a fully equipped gym. The good news is that Outside Magazine put together an awesome 15-minute bodyweight workout that you can do anywhere. They recommend completing the exercises below three times per week, performing each exercise for 40 seconds, resting for 20 seconds and then moving on to the next one. Read the full article here.
- Jump Squat
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands behind your head. From here, squat down until your legs are roughly parallel to the ground, keeping your chest up and back neutral. Forcefully extend your knees, hips, and ankles to jump straight up as high as possible. Land softly on the ground and immediately lower back to a squat before you spring back up.
- Triangle Push-Up
Get on the ground in a high plank position. Position your hands in line with your shoulders and under the center of your chest, thumbs and index fingers touching to form a triangle. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. From here, slowly bend your elbows to lower your body until your chest is a few inches above the ground. Pause, then reverse the movement to return to start.
- Bicycle Crunch
Lie flat on the ground, hands raised to the sides of your head, and raise your bent legs so that your shins are parallel to the ground. Brace your core to maintain contact between your lower back and ground throughout the exercise. From here, squeeze your abs to lift your upper back off the ground and bring one elbow to meet the opposite knee. As you do so, extend the other leg straight out a few inches above the ground. Immediately switch sides.
- Speed Skater
Stand on your right leg with your left toe on the ground behind you for balance. From here, bend your knees and hips to slightly lower toward the ground and spring up to hop onto your left foot, letting your arms swing with you. As you land, bring your right foot behind you for balance. Immediately switch sides.
- Forward Lunge
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and hands clasped in front of your chest for balance. From here, take an exaggerated step forward with one leg, bending at the knees and hips until both legs form 90-degree angles and your knees are directly over your ankles. Push through the base of your front foot to reverse the movement and return to start. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Straight-Leg Raise
Lie on your back on the ground with your legs together, and place your hands underneath your butt for balance. Brace your core. From here, while keeping your legs together and as straight as possible, squeeze your abs to slowly raise your legs until your thighs are perpendicular to the ground. Immediately reverse the motion to return to start.
- Body-Weight Hang/Pull-Up
Stand underneath a low, sturdy tree branch and grab the branch with an overhand, wider-than-shoulder-width grip. From here, with your arms fully extended, brace your core and bend your knees to lift your feet toward your butt. Keeping your core tight, hang from the branch for the prescribed time, or, if strength allows, pull your shoulder blades together so that you raise into a pull-up. When your collarbones reach the branch, slowly reverse the movement to return to start.
- Lateral Lunge
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, hands clasped in front of your chest for balance. From here, take an exaggerated step to the side with right leg, bending at that knee and hip until the thigh of your right leg is perpendicular to the ground, knee directly over your ankles. Your left leg should be completely straight. Push through the base of your right foot to reverse the movement and return to start. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Side Plank (Left)
Lie on your left side on the ground, left forearm under your shoulder, left hip resting on the ground, and right foot stacked on top of the left. From here, brace your core and lift your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Hold for the prescribed time.
- Mountain Climber
Get on the ground in a high plank position with your hands positioned directly underneath your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. From here, with your toes anchored into the ground and bracing your core for balance, bring one knee to your chest. Immediately switch sides, driving your foot back into the ground while raising the opposite knee to your chest.
- Side Plank (Right)
Lie on your right side on the ground, right forearm under your shoulder, right hip resting on the ground, and left foot stacked on top of the right. From here, brace your core and lift your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Hold for the prescribed time.
Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground, arms resting by your sides. Brace your core and press your lower back into the ground, making sure to maintain a flat back throughout the exercise. From here, squeeze your glutes and drive through your heels to raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from upper back to knees. Pause, then reverse the movement to return to start.
- Single-Leg Squat (Left)
Stand tall with your feet together, and then extend your right leg and both arms out in front of you. From here, bend your left knee and hip to lower down as far as possible. Pause, then push through your left heel to return to start. (Make this easier by holding a large rock or other heavy object out in front of you for a counterbalance.)
- Single-Leg Squat (Right)
Stand tall with your feet together, and then extend your left leg and both arms out in front of you. From here, bend your right knee and hip to lower down as far as possible. Pause, then push through your right heel to return to start. (Make this easier by holding a large rock or other heavy object out in front of you for a counterbalance.)
- Wide-Handed Push-Up
Get on the ground in a high plank position. Position your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width and in line with your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body until your chest is a few inches above the ground. Pause, then reverse the movement to return to start.
Belclaire Homes builds homes that fit every lifestyle. Although we build in the best North Texas communities that provide hike-and-bike trials, sports courts, swimming pools and fitness facilities, you never know when you might be required to spend an extended time period indoors. Belclaire Homes are designed and built thoughtfully so buyers enjoy being inside their home just as much as they enjoy being outside enjoying their community’s amenities. Our model homes are currently available for viewing by appointment only, get in touch with someone from our team to set something up and get started creating the home of your dreams. You can see our available homes here.
Working from home has become a “new normal” for many of us who are used to working in a corporate office. Maybe it had a bit of novelty at first, skipping your daily commute and taking your time getting to your desk right as the workday begins. If you haven’t settled into your WFH routine, its novelty is probably beginning to wear off. Check out some of these tips from The Muse on creating a productive home office:
- Think like a mouse
Find the quietest corner of your house, while some people need some background noise to work, others find any noise at all incredibly disturbing.
- Declutter your desk
While sticky notes can be a helpful tool, extra books, piles of paper or cups half-full of lukewarm coffee will strongly detract from your productivity and your concentration. You don’t want your desk to be empty – don’t stow away your pen if you’ll be using it again today – but giving yourself space to work allows you to have space to think as well.
- Declutter the rest of the house too
As much as you want to ignore your messy living room, shutting your office door might not be enough to convince you that your mess has disappeared. Spend a couple minutes each night tidying up so that the next morning you’re ready for business.
- Bring in some green
A desk or a floor plant is a great way to add a breath of fresh air to your workspace and create some visual variety when your eyes need a break from the screen. Try something resilient like a small cactus or succulent, or at least arrange your desk so you can see outside.
- Try a calming scent
Soft, wafting scents can soothe the usual stress of thought blockages and procrastination, resulting in increased focus. Besides having a nice smell, essential oils like lavender and jasmine can actually give you great natural boosts. Try a fresh smelling potted herb or plant, or simply add a scented candle. Aromatherapy could be just the trick you need to get your thoughts back on track.
- Use a small to-do list
Before you begin tackling the day’s tasks, spend 10 minutes creating a detailed checklist. Then, spend another five making an even shorter checklist of tasks you absolutely know will get done in the next couple of hours. If you have too many tasks, there’s no way they’ll all get done. This trick helps you remember and plan for each chore, but also breaks your day down into small, actionable tasks. Plus, once you check off or cross out your finished work, those visible accomplishments will spur your creativity.
- Take meaningful breaks
When it’s time to take a break, you might default to checking Facebook. For a more productive way to recharge your batteries, try reading relevant articles to give you some inspiration, learning about new innovations in your field or even taking a walk around your block. As long as you’re timing your breaks, you’ll be back to work in no time and your brain will feel a bit more refreshed.
Belclaire Homes builds homes that fit your lifestyle, especially when you work where you live! When designing your new home in one of our communities, we will work with you to create the best home office space to spark your productivity and creativity. Our model homes are currently available for viewing by appointment only, get in touch with someone from our team to set something up and get started creating the home of your dreams. You can see our available homes here.
D Magazine says that if you’re choosing where you live based on perks, Windsong Ranch in Prosper is the right choice! The magazine highlights all of the community’s plush amenities like its crystal-clear lagoon, white sand beaches, community café, winding creeks and indoor amphitheater just minutes from your doorstep. The 2,000- acre community boasts 600 acres of open space, lakes stocked with bass and catfish for catch-and-release fishing, wooded creeks, parks, hike-and-bike trails, outdoor fields and other resort-style amenities. They call Windsong Ranch “unarguably one of the largest and most naturally beautiful master-planned communities in North Texas.” You can read the full article here.
Belclaire builds in only the best communities, that’s why we build so many homes at Windsong Ranch! Belclaire builds semi-custom homes within The Peninsula, the community’s private enclave of estate-like home sites. Our floor plans beginning in the $700s range from 3,041 square feet to 5,600 square feet and are built on 90-foot lots. Currently, our model home in the community is available to view by appointment only, so get in touch with a member of our sales team to set it up. Learn more about Belclaire Homes at Windsong Ranch here.
Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: April 3, 2020 | Comments Off on COVID-19 update from Belclaire Homes
At Belclaire Homes, the health and safety of our customers, vendors and team members is our top priority. Because of the recent COVID-19 outbreak and social distancing practices, model homes will be open by appointment only. We are also now offering virtual appointments and model tours. Find the right Belclaire community for your family and reach out by phone or email to schedule your appointment.
Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: April 1, 2020 | Comments Off on Celebrate National Walking Day the Belclaire way
National Walking Day is observed on the first Wednesday of April. According to the American Heart Association, the day is intended to remind people about health and the benefits of walking – they urge Americans to walk for at least 30 minutes every day. Even though we’re practicing social distancing, walking is still one of the healthiest activities you can enjoy on your own.
Belclaire communities feature green space and hike-and-bike trails for residents to get moving and enjoy nature (with plenty of space to be six feet away from other walkers). Be sure to check with your neighborhood association to ensure parks and trails are open during this time. If you’re unable to make it out to the trails for a walk, check out some of these at-home workouts from People Magazine.
After a decade of huge population growth, Dallas-Fort Worth is expected to again lead the nation’s metro areas for the number of new residents. Between 2010 and 2019, DFW gained 1,349,378 new residents, ranking first among U.S. metropolitan areas. From 2020 through 2029, DFW is projected to welcome another 1,393,623 newcomers – that’s 17.9 percent growth on top of the region’s roughly 7,539,711-person population. For comparison, the greater Oklahoma City area was home to about 1.4 million people total in 2018. One of the reasons for such rapid growth in Dallas-Fort Worth is the size of its tech workforce. That’s why Belclaire Homes is busy building homes for families relocating to surrounding cities.
Belclaire Homes builds semi-custom homes in three fabulous master-planned communities: Windsong Ranch in Prosper, Emerald Heights in McKinney and Castle Hills in Lewisville. You can see some of our available homes here. Our model homes are now available for viewing by virtual appointment. Get in touch with a sales representative to start your new home search today!
Categories: Available Homes, Belclaire Communities, Community News, General Posts | Posted: March 25, 2020 | Comments Off on Belclaire Homes is now offering virtual appointments and model tours
Belclaire Homes is now offering virtual appointments and model tours for your safety and convenience.
Our homebuilding process isn’t being slowed down by the current pandemic. Residential construction is considered “essential infrastructure” and we have taken measures to adhere to social distancing on our construction sites to both keep our workers safe and our projects on track. We will continue to work hard for our customers during this time and encourage you to reach out to our sales representatives to schedule your private video appointment and to answer any questions you may have.
Categories: Belclaire Communities, General Posts | Posted: March 24, 2020 | Comments Off on Celebrate National Craft Month in your Belclaire home
Did you know March is National Craft Month? This is the perfect opportunity to spark your imagination or learn a new creative hobby that you can do in the comfort of your Belclaire home. We picked a few fun DIY projects from Martha Stewart, but you can read the full list with instructions here.
It can be as simple as making a bracelet or extravagant as embellishing a dress. Add some sparkle to your personal style and try your hand at beading.
Light a candle and unwind as its fragrance leaves your home smelling lovely. When you make one of your own, it’s customizable to almost any scent, color and melt-and-pour material.
Transform everyday items into something new and exciting with dye. Tie-dye t-shirts are always fun, but dye can also be used to transform your sneakers, jewelry and stationery, too!
- Nature Crafts
Who said fresh floral bouquets were the only way to enjoy nature? Dry your fresh flowers and leaves to preserve their beauty forever. They make a lovely embellishment for cards, wreaths, bookmarks and more.
Revisit old memories and collage them together to never forget that amazing trip you took. No one else will forget that trip either, after being captivated by the one-of-a-kind piece of art you now own!
Crafting is one of the best ways to enjoy time spent at home, especially when you have the space for it. Check out our available homes and the neighborhoods where we build – you might find one with the perfect spot to inspire your favorite creative hobbies.
The home is where we spend more time than anywhere else, especially when it’s a Belclaire home built just for you and your family. So, why not do some seasonal cleaning to keep it in tip-top shape for the coming warmer months? Real Simple has some tips and tricks that will help you tackle your cleaning to-do list as quickly and efficiently as possible. We summarized them but you can read the full article here.
- Break cleaning down into 10-minute chunks
Sometimes spring cleaning is like a marathon, but it doesn’t have to be. Break it down into short, highly productive chunks. A few things you can clean in the next 10 minutes:Dust: brush a dust wand over all open surfaces
Clean doors and switch plates: remove fingerprints, smudges and germs from light switch plates with a damp microfiber cloth.
Dust ceiling fans: place a pillowcase over the fan blade and pull it toward you to collect the dust, then use a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water to clean each blade.
Baseboards: use a microfiber mop to clear dust and debris from your baseboards
- Adapt to your cleaning personality
Some people are stress cleaners while others are procrastinators. Identifying your cleaning personality is the first step to coming up with a plan that works for you. For example, if you’re an angry cleaner, let your emotion motivate you to tackle tough cleaning tasks like scrubbing grout.
- Mix up your own all-natural cleanser
Whether you’re trying to use less chemicals or you just want some backup for when you run out of your usual cleanser, it’s good to know how to make your own cleaning solution using ingredients you probably already have. This recipe can be used on quartz, granite and marble counters, plus appliances and sinks:
¾ cup water
¾ cup rubbing alcohol
5-10 drops peppermint, lemon or orange essential oil
1 squirt natural dish soap
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray onto surfaces and wipe clean with a cloth. Voila!
- De-stink your gym clothes
For many people, warmer weather doesn’t just signal us to spring clean, but also to recommit to working out. To deodorize your gym clothes, try soaking them in one part white vinegar to four parts cold water. If that doesn’t work, try switching to cotton blend workout clothes.
- Make your trash smell better
Help your kitchen trash smell a little more pleasant by placing a couple dryer sheets on the bottom of the can – used ones work great!
- Use baking soda to refresh stained coffee mugs
Even the Statue of Liberty was cleaned with baking soda on its centennial. To clean off stained coffee mugs, fill the mug with one part baking soda and two parts water. Let them soak overnight and rub clean with a sponge.
- Clear gunk off your oven door
If the inside of your oven door is caked with splatters and baked-on food, try wetting a pumice stone, scrubbing and wiping clean with a wet microfiber cloth.
- Make shower cleaning second nature
One tip is to keep a squeegee in your shower so it’s easy to remember to wipe down the walls, but some people like to keep a dish wand filled with dish soap and vinegar in the shower so you can scrub while you’re in it!
Your home is a place that reflects you. Learn more about building a Belclaire home to suit your family in Windsong Ranch in Prosper, Emerald Heights in McKinney and Castle Hills in Lewisville. At the moment, our model homes in these communities can be viewed by appointment only, however, you can see some of our available homes here.